Gov. Phil Bredesen today called an anti-Sen. Barack Obama press release from the Tennessee Republican Party “offensive” and said it showed “prejudice.”
The Tennessee GOP had issued a press release Monday entitled “Anti-Semites for Obama” and had used the Illinois Democrat’s middle name of Hussein in describing him.
After Sen. Lamar Alexander and reportedly the Republican National Committee scolded the Tennessee Republican Party Wednesday, the state GOP removed “Hussein” from the press release as well as a picture of Obama in traditional Somali garb.
Today, in impromptu remarks to reporters, Bredesen said he was “very offended” by the press release and was “glad the Republicans pulled them up short on it.”
“I think a lot of people, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, were offended by it,” Bredesen said to reporters. “And I think that's what prejudice is about, ya know, trying to assign characteristics to people based on statements or signs or something like that. And that’s what they were doing.”
Tennessee Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith has said that the purpose of the press release was to question Obama’s support of Israel after he was endorsed by Louis Farrakhan, the longtime leader of the Nation of Islam who has made anti-Semitic remarks in the past.
For more on this story, see Friday’s The City Paper …